What is an Air Fryer

  • By: Kitchen Informant
  • Date: May 10, 2024

What is an air fryer

What is an Air Fryer? Air fryers are revolutionizing home cooking, providing a healthier and quicker way to enjoy delicious fried treats!

Instead of opting for the traditional frying methods that use high amounts of oil and fat, air fryers offer an alternative by using hot air circulation.

With these innovative devices becoming increasingly popular in many homes across the country – even appearing on television cooking shows – it’s no surprise that people are falling in love with their convenience.

A black air fryer on a dark counter.

How does it work

An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that allows you to fry, roast, or bake your favorite foods using hot air instead of oil.

It sounds pretty simple, but there’s a lot of science behind how an air fryer works. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the technology that makes air frying possible.

Convection Heating

Air fryers work by using a process called convection heating. This means that hot air is circulated around the food, which will cook it evenly on all sides.

The hot air is created by a heating element that’s typically located at the bottom of the fryer.

A fan then circulates the hot air around the food, cooking it to perfection. This gives your food that crispy, fried texture without all the oil.

Heating Element and Fan

The heating element is the heart of the air fryer, and it’s responsible for creating the hot air that cooks your food.

Usually, it’s located at the bottom of the fryer. It is made of high-quality materials that can withstand high temperatures.

On the other hand, the fan is responsible for circulating the hot air around the food. It’s typically located at the top of the fryer. It works in conjunction with the heating element to cook your food evenly.

Hot Air Circulation

The key to the air fryer’s success is its ability to circulate hot air around the food.

The heating element creates the hot air and then circulates around the food by the fan. This causes the food to cook evenly on all sides, giving it that crispy, fried texture without needing oil.

It also allows the food to cook faster than traditional methods, saving you time in the kitchen.

So you can see, there’s a lot of science behind how an air fryer works.

You can get the most out of your air fryer by understanding the technology behind it. You’ll soon be cooking delicious, healthy meals for your family and friends.

What are the Benefits of Using an Air Fryer

Health Benefits

One of the main benefits of using an air fryer is its ability to significantly reduce the amount of oil you consume in your food.

Traditional deep-frying can be incredibly unhealthy, as it involves submerging food in hot oil, which can add significant fat and calories to your diet.

You can achieve that crispy, fried texture with an air fryer without the added oil.

Another health benefit of using an air fryer is that it can reduce the fat content in your food.

Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, which can help to remove excess fat and oil. This can be especially beneficial if you’re trying to watch your diet or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Convenience Benefits

An air fryer can also be a great convenience in the kitchen. For one, it can cook food much faster than traditional cooking methods.

Because it uses hot air instead of oil, it heats up quickly and cooks food faster. This can be especially handy if you need more time or need to feed a crowd.

Another convenience benefit is that air fryers are multi-functional.

They can fry, bake, grill, and even roast. This means you can use it for various recipes, from crispy chicken to roasted vegetables and even desserts.

Lastly, air fryers are also easy to clean. Unlike traditional deep fryers, which can be a hassle to clean, air fryers have removable parts that can be easily washed.

Plus, most air fryers have non-stick coatings, meaning food doesn’t stick to the surface, making cleaning even more effortless.

Cost Benefits

An air fryer can also be a great cost-effective appliance. For one, it’s energy efficient.

Because it uses hot air instead of oil, it doesn’t consume as much energy. This can help to save on your electricity bill.

Another cost benefit is that it can help prolong your food’s lifespan. Traditional cooking methods can cause food to spoil or go bad quickly, but with an air fryer, food stays fresh for longer.

This can be especially handy if you’re trying to stretch your food budget.

Lastly, an air fryer can also help to reduce the need for additional kitchen appliances.

Because it can fry, bake, grill and roast, you won’t need to purchase multiple appliances to achieve the same results.

Environmental Benefits

An air fryer can also be beneficial for the environment. For one, it can help to reduce waste. Because it’s energy efficient and can help prolong your food’s lifespan, you’ll be throwing away less food.

Another environmental benefit is that it can help to reduce pollution. For example, traditional cooking methods like deep-frying can release harmful pollutants into the air, but with an air fryer, you won’t be releasing any pollutants.

Lastly, using an air fryer can also help to increase sustainability. Because it’s energy efficient and can reduce the need for additional kitchen appliances, you’ll be using fewer resources, which is better for the environment.

How to use an air fryer

A Green air fryer on a kitchen counter with a plate of french fries next to it.

Once you have an air fryer, it’s time to start thinking about what to cook.

The key to great air-fried food is proper preparation. Make sure to cut your food into similar-sized pieces so that it cooks evenly.

If you’re air frying meats, pat them dry before seasoning them to prevent steaming. Also, think about the seasoning you want to use. Salt and pepper are great for a simple seasoning, but you can also use herbs, spices, and dry rubs to add more flavor.

Now that your food is prepared, it’s time to start cooking.

The process of using an air fryer is pretty simple.

First, turn the air fryer on and set the temperature and time. Different types of food will require different temperatures and cooking times, so consult your air fryer’s manual for specific guidelines.

Once the air fryer is preheated, add your food to the basket and place it in the air fryer. Make sure to shake the basket halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.

There are so many foods you can cook in an air fryer. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts come out perfectly crispy. You can also cook fish, chicken, and desserts like cake and cookies.

The possibilities are endless!

Things to Consider When Buying

With such a variety models on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one to buy. Here are some things to consider when buying an air fryer.


With air fryers, size can matters. Before you start shopping, you’ll want to think about how many people you’ll be cooking for and how much storage space you have in your kitchen.

A small air fryer can typically hold about 2 quarts, while a medium one can hold around 3.5 quarts, and a large one can hold up to 5 quarts.

If you’re cooking for one or two people, a small air fryer will probably do the trick. But if you’re cooking for a family or entertain frequently, you may want to consider a medium or large air fryer.


Air fryers come with various features, so it’s important to think about which ones are important to you.

Some models come with digital controls, while others have manual controls.

Digital air fryers often have preset cooking programs and timer and temperature settings.

Manual air fryers typically have knobs that you turn to set the temperature and time.

Another feature to consider is the air frying basket and tray options. Some air fryers come with a removable basket, while others come with a tray.

The basket is great for cooking smaller items, like chicken tenders, while the tray is better for larger items, like a whole chicken.

Brand and Price

When it comes to air fryers, you’ll find a range of prices. It’s important to consider your budget, but also remember that a higher price doesn’t always mean a better product.

Do your research and read reviews before making a purchase. Some popular brands of air fryers include Philips and Cosori.

The best foods to cook in an air fryer

Air fryers are a versatile kitchen appliance that can cook various foods, from savory to sweet.

Here are some of the most popular foods to cook in an air fryer and how to prepare them for the best results.

French fries and other vegetables

Sweet Potato Fries standing up in a paper cone.

French fries are a classic air fryer food. They come out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, just like traditional deep-fried fries.

To make the best fries in your air fryer, cut them into thin, even slices, and toss them in a bit of oil before cooking. You can add your favorite seasonings, such as salt, pepper, or herbs.

Other vegetables, such as sweet potato fries, cauliflower florets, and even onion rings, can also be cooked in the air fryer.

It’s best to preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before adding your vegetables to ensure that they cook evenly.

Chicken and other meats

Air fryers are great for cooking chicken, as they allow the skin to become crispy while keeping the meat moist.

To make the best chicken in your air fryer, marinate it in your favorite seasoning or marinade before cooking.

You can also cook other meats in your air fryer, such as pork chops, steak, and even bacon. It’s best to adjust the cooking time and temperature based on the thickness and type of meat you’re cooking.

Fish and seafood

2 Crab cakes on a square, white plate with lemon slices.

Air fryers are also great for cooking fish and seafood. They allow the fish to cook quickly and evenly while keeping it flaky and moist.

To make the best fish in your air fryer, season it with your favorite herbs and spices before cooking.

Shrimp, scallops, and even crab cakes can also be cooked in an air fryer. It’s best to adjust the cooking time based on the size and type of seafood you’re cooking.


Air fryers can also be used to make delicious desserts. For example, you can make crispy and sweet apple chips, or even doughnuts.

To make the best desserts in your air fryer, be sure to adjust the cooking time and temperature based on the type of food you’re cooking.


Air fryers are a great way to cook food evenly and reduce the amount of oil and fat in your diet.

If you’re considering purchasing one, it’s important to consider what size you need and what features you want.

Some of the best foods to cook include chicken, fish, vegetables, and French fries. They are also great for cooking frozen foods.

With an air fryer, you can cook your favorite foods with less oil and fat, and enjoy a healthier meal.

Graphic for Pinterest of What is an Air Fryer.